Sports

Under-20 Women’s World Cup: Nigeria ‘favourites’ in the race to host 2020 event

LAGOS, Nigeria – The Nigeria’s have emerged as favourites to host the first Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Africa, according to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

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Back in August, a Fifa inspection team led by Heyral Kaj Jurgen, inspected facilities across the West African nation in the proposed cities of Lagos, Benin City, Asaba and Uyo.

No Fifa Women’s World Cup has been staged in Africa and Nigeria’s football authority (NFF) remains the only body from the continent keen to stage the event scheduled for July.

“We’ve received words from Fifa about areas we need to improve on to win the race to host in 2020,” a top official of the NFF told BBC Sport.

“There’s a strong assurance that we are now favourites to host and we have a few months to make it happen.”

Nigeria have previously hosted the men’s Under-20 World Cup in 1999 and the Under-17 version ten years later.

Despite the bid facing strong criticism from a section of the country’s socio-political commentators and analysts, Nigeria’s government has already offered its support, with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo insisting they are fully behind the plans.

“The Government of Nigeria guarantees to back the bid 100 per cent,” Osinbajo said.

“We are actually excited with the prospect of hosting the Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup in 2020.

“For us, football is a unifying force. Government interest in hosting is beyond commercial; football is a measure of unity and well-being of our people as diverse as we are.”

Nigeria are one of four countries (alongside USA, Germany and Brazil) to have participated in every World Under-20 tournament since its inception 17 years ago.

The Falconets reached the final in 2010 and 2014, but lost to women’s football superpowers Germany on both two occasions.

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